Celebrating National Girl Scout Day: Troops improve sense of community


Ritika Venketesh

In 2022, seniors Lily Campbell and Ritika Venketesh make s’mores to celebrate Camp Day.

Shreeja Tangutur, Features Editor

Upon the phrase ‘Girl Scout,’ an image of delectable cookies immediately comes to mind for many. However, other than selling crowd-favorites such as Thin Mints and Samoas, Girl Scouts participate in activities to become future leaders by volunteering and taking action in their community.
Girls Scouts will celebrate their 110th anniversary on March 12, which is marked as National Girl Scouts Day. In 1912, Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low organized the first meeting in Savannah, Georgia, according to National Today. Low created this meeting to grow the confidence and character of young girls and Girl Scouts have since continued her mission.
“I have participated in Girl Scouts since I was in kindergarten,” junior Mira Padayachee said. “It has not only allowed me to meet girls my age, but also helped me gain confidence.”
A large portion of Girl Scouts consists of volunteering. Such activities include assisting in soup kitchens, organizing food drives and caring for animals. By volunteering, many have been able to connect more to the community and boost their social skills.
“My favorite memory from volunteering in Girl Scouts was in third grade [when] we prepared a meal for parents who were taking a course on parenting,” junior Eesha Kulkarni said. “We had a chef there who taught us a lot about kitchen safety and techniques, helping us learn practical skills.”

Many Girl Scouts also participate in service projects to make their voice heard and provide them with a sense of purpose, according to GirlScouts.org. Past projects include developing healthy eating programs at schools and advocating to make public spaces more accessible. This year, one popular service campaign troops have taken part in is the Citizen Science project, where scouts work alongside scientists to analyze and collect data about rain patterns and rising temperatures to solve world problems such as climate change. Another is the mask-making service project where girls create cloth masks and then donate them to charities such as the Feeding America food bank.
Padayachee’s troop, Troop 6687, is celebrating National Girl Scout Day by participating in a service activity. 

“Our service project that we are doing the following month is called ‘Birthday in a Bag,’” Padayachee said. “This is where we take an ordinary gift bag and fill it with birthday treats such as cake mix and balloons and then give them to food pantries.” 

In addition, many troops conduct team-building activities such as visiting local parks, taking road trips and camping. Through these activities, girls engage in real-life simulations, where they learn to handle money, make decisions through setting up a campsite and what resources to use for the night. Furthermore, scouting gives many girls the opportunity to relax and enjoy quality time with their friends. 

“In fourth grade, my troop went to a campsite where we spent most of the day doing activities like making s’mores and playing archery at the campsite,” Kulkarni said.

According to GirlScouts.org, the group creates a strong sense of self by learning positive values, such as responsibility and honesty, as well as developing critical thinking skills. 
“Being a Girl Scout has really helped me come out of my shell [as] I’m surrounded by people I trust and get along with,” senior Ritika Venketesh said. “All the activities [are] aimed at building courage, which has helped me speak with more strength and confidence.”
Being a Girl Scout has also allowed many to find a role model whom they find inspiration from. These role models have guided them throughout their troop experience.
“I really look up to my troop leader,” Venketesh said. “I have no idea how she has managed to keep up with ten girls over the past ten years. She’s also just a very strong, responsible, and open-minded person and I would love to be more like [her] when I’m older.”

Those interested in joining Girl Scouts can get more info at ComGirlScouts. Girl Scout troops range from kindergarten to 12th grade. Afterward, many choose to be troop leaders or assistants. Other ways to get involved in Girl Scouts include being a camp volunteer and helping organize cookie sales.
“I definitely recommend finding a way to participate in Girl Scouts because it is a great way to meet new people, build character and is overall an awesome experience,” Padayachee said.